organic-fertilizer

What Is Spoon Feeding a Lawn?

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Written By: Mark Marino, a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder
and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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What is spoon-feeding a lawn?

Spoon feeding your lawn is the act of fertilizing your turf more frequently with smaller amounts of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Generally, a standard application, or full bag rate, of fertilization can be upwards of one pound (1 lb.) of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Spoon feeding is applying half or less than half of the typical rates. Somewhere between 0.1 – 0.5 lbs. of N per 1,000 square feet, applied weekly or biweekly can be considered as spoon-feeding. See below for some examples.

Spoon Feeding N-Ext RGS

  • 1 ounce per 1,000 ft2 every week, or biweekly

Spoon Feeding 24-0-6 Flagship

  • A little more than 1 lb. of Flagship per 1,000 ft2 to deliver ~1/4 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 ftevery 10-14 days

Questions about how much Nitrogen is in your fertilizer? Use our free online nitrogen calculator

Spoon feeding your lawn can be very beneficial. By applying low amounts of fertilizer and nitrogen to your lawn and soil, you can deliver smaller amounts of nutrients more frequently without worrying about excessive top growth. 

I spoon feed my front lawn every week – or two weeks depending on the weather – with Kelp4Less Extreme Blend , Humic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, and Molasses Powder. This is ideal especially as we approach the hotter summer days ahead, where you may want to cut back on your typical fertilization or eliminate completely. 

You can also spoon-feed in the fall time when you decide to nitrogen blitz – or apply 0.5 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. every two weeks in the fall to get 1 lb. of N per 1,000 sq. ft. in a month.

Since we’re experiencing so much rain and humidity, virtually everyone in the Northeast is experiencing some sort of lawn disease or fungus. Applying fungicides like Heritage G – which contains both azoxystrobin and propiconazole – to begin arresting the lawn fungus is step 1.

But spoon-feeding the affected areas is also a great idea. You can constantly deliver small amounts of nutrients to your grass safely without stressing it out. 

Applying nitrogen fertilizer with a chelated iron product is a surefire way to make your grass pop if your lawn is turning yellow.

I hope this is a good explanation of spoon-feeding! Please leave a comment below if it was helpful, or if you have anything else to add. 

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on

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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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